WOBURN — After a 2020 season that saw so many games canceled, it was hard to award an actual Middlesex League Liberty boys' soccer champion, the coaches around the division are thrilled that things are back to normal in 2021.
Not only will all the games be played, there will be fans in the stands, and the players can head the ball and have throw-ins.
Like many others, the Woburn High boys team has been savoring the return to normalcy, while getting ready to go on another campaign to try and capture an ML Liberty title, and a berth in the new state-wide tournament.
"The boys have been working hard and enjoying the prep for the season," said Tanners' coach Roy Gomes. "Offensively, up front and through the midfield, we are looking dangerous with many creative smart technical players."
Woburn is led by an outstanding quartert of skilled seniors, three of whom will be leading the offense and one who will lead the defense.
The senior captains on offense are Matheus Donascimento, Matheus Oliveira and Gabe DaSilva, all of whom will either be playing up front or in the midfield. DaSilva and Oliveira are returning ML Liberty All-Stars
The captains will be leading the way along with junior forward/midfielder Kauan Gomes, senior midfielder Gabe Pinto, first-year senior Michael Echivarria, and junior midfielder/forward Diogo Malmonge.
"Providing depth to the attack are junior forward/midfielder Tobias Petrakoski, first-year junior Jason Nicolas, senior midfielder Chris Araujo, first-year junior Dalesandro Zelaya and first-year sophomore Jack Parece.
The Tanners have a sophisticated approach to attacking the opposing net that makes good use of Woburn's speed, skills and athleticism.
Defensively, the Tanners have senior captain Will Comeiro leading them, along with junior Rocco Gomes, junior James Breeden, and first-year senior Mhammedmo Mrabet,.
Second-year sophomore Matthew Balleani, sophomore Arthur Ribeiro and sophomore Colby Irving will be coming in off the bench.
Woburn has returning senior Bryan Santos back as the starting goalkeeper.
"We have a lot of versatile, talented players that can play multiple positions to help the team," said Gomes. "They’re all willing to play wherever the team needs them to play to win, which is all a coach can ask for."
Woburn has all the tools needed to play with every team in the Middlesex League, and to compete for the top spot in ML Liberty.
The Tanners open up the season on Friday afternoon (4 p.m.) when they travel to Brush Field to take on Burlington in the season opener.